Council expands Oak Leaf recognition initiative

Program to include additional individuals who have provided the district with “exemplary service

Oak Bay is expanding its Oak Leaf recognition program.

Oak Bay is expanding its Oak Leaf recognition program.

Oak Bay’s Oak Leaf recognition program will be expanded to include additional individuals who have provided the district with “exemplary service,” council agreed.

Through the program, Oak Bay presents individuals with an engraved stainless steel oak leaf, designed by artist Illarion Gallant.

The change “expands it slightly to the give us power as council to, in exceptional circumstances, honour a person who in our opinion has provided exemplary service to the community,” Mayor Nils Jensen said at the June 27 meeting.

“It will be commissions, boards, committees and people who have provided exemplary service.”

As the first step in the process of  opening the award to more people, Jensen said at this point council members can bring forward nominations which will be reviewed during an in camera session of council, “but at some point we’ll standardize it.”

The in camera discussions are required when council is dealing with named individuals, as they do when discussing certain staff issues, Jensen said.

Coun. Eric Zhelka said he was  pleased with the expansion. “I’m glad to see this change will allow us to recognize more people in the community and also make a broader range of people eligible for this wonderful award.”